An Indiana elementary school principal was arrested last week after he was caught driving his ATV under the influence.
Peter Jochim, 35, of Martinsville Indiana, was arrested on suspicion of DUI after he made a sharp turn on his ATV and his passenger, an aide at his school, fell off of the ATV injuring his head. The school aide, 32-year-old Kristina Koons, was taken to the hospital.
A few posts ago, I wrote about boating under the influence this upcoming summer. However, if taking to the sand on an off-road motorcycle or an ATV is the summer activity for you, be aware that you can be arrested for DUI on an off-road motorcycle or an ATV in California.
For purposes of California DUI law, an ATV or an off-road motorcycle is a motor vehicle. As such, drunk drivers of ATVs and off-road motorcycles are subject to the same penalties as those who are arrested for a California DUI in their cars.
“But wait, we go off roading on private property,” you might be thinking to yourself. Well, under California law, it doesn’t matter that the driver of the off-road vehicle is not on a public road.
According to the California Court of Appeals case of People v. Malvitz, off-road trails and sand dunes are considered public roadways for the purposes of California DUI law. The court concluded that the legislative intent of DUI laws was that they extend beyond the public roadways to anywhere in California including private off-road trails or dunes.
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